Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Trader Joe’s – Organic Nicaraguan Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

10/16/2017

TJ, trader joe, Nicaraguan Whole Bean Coffee , price, reviewOctober 16, 2017

This coffee is somewhat: weak, bitter and bad tasting.  The negatives go away some on cooling to a slightly sour taste.  While not especially good for a Trader Joe coffee, this is still likely better than some coffees at other supermarkets for the same price.  While taste is a personal preference, and some people may like this coffee more than other coffees, there are better coffees at Trader Joe’s for the same price or less.

The coffee is labeled as organic.  The coffee is packaged in a tall, thin bag which makes it somewhat difficult to get the coffee out, especially near the bottom of the bag.

And if you look at the label this is a “honey processed” coffee.  I guess some things don’t change no matter where people live.  “Oh honey!  Can you go process some coffee for me.  And, take out the trash.”

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

For another take on this coffee, try Become Betty here.

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Trader Joe’s – Five Country Espresso Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

09/23/2017

trader joes, coffee, whole bean, five country espresso, review, price, fair trade, organicSeptember 23, 2017

Since espresso is a method of making coffee and not a particular coffee bean, the name is slightly misleading.  However, since most coffees, including this one, can be used in espresso machines, we won’t quibble.  And since I don’t have an espresso machine, this coffee was prepared by my usual French press method.

Typically coffee beans meant for espresso machines are dark roasted.  This coffee fits in the Trader Joe’s medium-dark roast category (labeled dark roast on the can).  It produced a nice cup of coffee in my press.  It was largely indistinguishable from my everyday Tarrazu drinker.   Perhaps it was a little more bitter.  Regardless, it should work nicely in an espresso machine if that’s your preference.

For the extra two dollars per can over the Tarrazu, what are we getting?  This coffee is labeled both organic and fair trade.  That could be one reason to spend the extra two dollars.  As for the word espresso on the can, it’s your decision whether this will produce a better espresso shot than your current coffee.   Price $8.99  (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Low Acid French Roast Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

08/03/2017

coffee, trader joe's, french roast, low acid, review, whole beanAugust 3, 2017

This might have been the first Trader Joe coffee that made it to the trash bin before the can was empty.  Right now I’m salvaging the coffee by grinding it 50/50 with my everyday Tarrazu coffee.

In the grinder there’s a beautiful aroma when the beans are freshly ground.  If only that could transfer to the brewed coffee.  Once brewed and in the cup, the beans turned into a very bitter cup of coffee.  If bitter is what you’re looking for in a cup of coffee, this one’s for you.  That experience isn’t for me.  A shot of Irish cream or half-and-half subdued the bitterness to tolerable levels.  But even then, there was still something about the coffee that wasn’t fully enjoyable.

As for the low acid claim on the label, without using a pH meter, we’ll just have to trust Trader Joe.  I did not feel any burn at the back of the throat or have any acid reflux problems afterwards.  Your reaction may be different.

The coffee beans are smaller than most. From the color and the small amount of oil on the beans, these are on the light side of a dark roast.  There is no country or region of origin stated for the beans. The beans are labeled 100% Arabica, as are around 80% of coffee beans overall.  Price $7.99 (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Ecuador Vilcabamba – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

07/14/2017

trader joe's, review, coffee, ecuador, vilcabamba, light-medium roastJuly 14, 2017

Musical beans?  That’s what they are.  Whether scooping these out from the bag, or dropping them into the measuring glass, or even in the grinder, these beans had a clear almost bell-like ring to them.  That’s very interesting and something either not noticed or not experienced in the past with any coffee beans.  And in the cup, that smooth mellow music continues.

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Trader Joe’s – Select Harvest Curated Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

06/03/2017

trader joe, review, price, select harvest curated coffee, whole beanJune 3, 2017
There are only three questions to ask of a curated coffee: how long has it been on the shelf, has anyone blown off the dust, and are there still overdue fines? It seems we’ve come a long way from curating book collections to curating bulk produce.

While claimed to be a 50/50 blend of light, Colombian Morales, and medium, Ethiopian Limu, roasted coffee beans, all the beans in the can looked the same.  Judging by the color and the amount of oil on the beans, I’d call them a medium roast.  When the beans were removed from the can, and compared side by side, there was a mix of small and medium size beans.

Aside from the marketing hype, this is a nice coffee.  In the can and ground, the beans had a nice aroma.  Brewed and in the cup, the coffee had a nice taste.  There was a little bitterness, but nothing exceptional.  Overall this is a smooth drinking medium roast coffee.  Price $8.99 (13 ounce can).

Trader Joe’s – Lys Kaffe – Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

05/20/2017

trader joe, review, price, whole bean coffee, lys kaffe, light coffeeMay 20, 2017
The beans are light brown with no oil.  Lys means light in Norwegian and Kaffe means coffee. All  the pieces fit together to support the claim on the package of “light roast”. The advantage of a light roast is that the  more delicate flavors in the coffee are brought to the front. They are not hidden behind stronger flavors brought out by a dark roast.

Made in a press, the coffee is on the thin and watery side. After all it’s a light roast by design. Once the mouth adjusts to the fact that this is supposed to be a light roast, there’s a nice flavor to the coffee. When cooled some there’s a bit of sourness.  There’s little to no acid and no bad tastes, making this a very smooth coffee. It’s a different experience and an enjoyable one at that. The coffee reminds me of the Jacobs Kronung coffee reviewed a long time ago.

While the taste is different, for comparison purposes, the “strength” of the coffee is somewhere above a strong tea.  For people who don’t like coffee, this may be a gentle way to give coffee a try.  For an everyday dark roast drinker, this is a way to take a break and clear the taste buds – think of  it as sort of a colon cleanse for the mouth?  Price $7.99 (12 ounce can).

For another reviewer’s thoughts on this coffee, see Become Betty here.

Trader Joe’s – Monsooned Malabar Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

04/30/2017

review, coffee, whole bean, trader joe, monsooned malabar, priceApril 30, 2017
This is a new small can which I hope does not indicate another trend of getting less for more.

Once opened, the beans have a nice medium brown color with a satiny finish.  The beans seem a bit oily for a medium roast.  This is a very earthy full-bodied tasting coffee with a bitter taste.  The bitterness is different from that produced by some darker roasts and unfortunately not any better.  Because of this bitterness this is not a coffee I’d pick up again.  If you like dark roast coffee, this may be for you – with a big may?

The can is 10 ounces, but at a price more indicative of a coffee packaged in a 13 ounce can.  That’s about a 30% increase per ounce for a coffee which is not very special.  Now it could be there is a limited supply of this coffee and this is simply a way for Trader Joe to ration it out so more people can try it.

As is often the case, Trader Joe has some creative writers doing product descriptions.  If you come across this coffee, be sure to read the story on the back of the can.  But do that in the store.  And after you do, put the can back on the shelf and drop a can of your regular coffee in your cart.  Price $6.99 (10 ounce can).

Trader Joe’s – Joe’s Dark Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

02/06/2017

Trader Joe, joe's dark coffee, whole bean, review, dark roastFebruary 6, 2017

I’ve been drinking this for a couple of weeks now as my daily coffee fix.  I’ve got nothing bad to say about it.  It’s a pretty decent coffee, and for a little less money than my usual brew (TJ Tarrazu).

This is not a very dark, dark roast.   Trader Joe does a pretty good job on their dark roasts. They manage to leave out most of the bitterness that some other dark roasts have.  There is some bitterness in the coffee, making this coffee less smooth than my normal coffee.  But it’s still not objectionable.  If you’re looking for a Starbucks-like dark roast, this ain’t it.

The beans come from Ethiopia and Brazil which may explain the difference in size of the beans in the can.  The coffee is not listed as organic or fair trade, if those things are important to you.

Price $4.99 (13 ounce can)

Starbucks – Medium Breakfast Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

12/31/2016

starbucks, breakfast blend, medium roast, whole bean, coffeeDecember 31, 2016
This was a gift.  Really this was a re-gift, which was probably a re-gift again from someone who picked up the bag and didn’t notice it was whole beans.  Whatever the tortuous path, it eventually ended with me as I have a coffee grinder.  I’m not proud.

The coffee has a mild but nice aroma in the bag.  The brown colored beans and oil are consistent with the indicated medium roast.  Brewed, the coffee has a fairly strong earthy flavor with a noticeable lingering bitterness.  There’s some acid feel and tartness, especially as the coffee cools, eventually settling (and unsettling) in the stomach.

This is a milder version of a typical Starbucks coffee. For those who like Starbucks, this should be a familiar taste.  It’s drinkable black.  Personally, I’d drink this with some half and half as I normally do the few times I’m in a Starbucks.  Price  ?? – it was a gift

Trader Joe’s Bolivian Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review

11/19/2016

coffee, trader joe's, Bolivian Blend, medium dark roast, fair trade, organicNovember 18, 2016

The medium-dark brown fairly oily beans produce a nice aroma on opening the can.   Once brewed, the coffee produces a strong taste which is mildly bitter on the tongue.  As it cools, the coffee transitions to an earthy taste and the bitterness declines.  The bitterness is a good bitterness, like a good beer has some bitterness to it.  However as with many things, bitterness is an acquired taste.  If you’re adverse to bitter tastes, this may not be a coffee for you.  There’s some sense of acidity on the roof of the mouth and in the stomach.

This is a good coffee for people looking for a stronger tasting coffee without going over the edge.  The coffee is labeled as both organic and fair trade.   Price  $7.99 (14 oz can)


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